Nagpur: The consumers of electricity in the city are fed up of SNDL (Spanco Nagpur Discon Limited) for its charging exorbitant amount of electricity-bills from citizens, putting them in financial burden. In case any aggrieved approaches the SNDL office, he is given irresponsible replies by SNDL staff and made to pay the bills under threat of disconnection of power-supply.
It may be recalled here, when the UPA government had transferred the power supply to SNDL, a private company, the BJP then in Opposition used to raise finger against the UPA for handing over power-supply to SNDL, and would often demand cancellation of the contract given to SNDL. But now when the same BJP has come to power in the state, it is protecting the SNDL. It indicates that no government can survive without privatization of certain sectors, irrespective of anything happens to common man.
It has become clear from the complaints of citizens that SNDL has failed to offer satisfactory service to consumers. Under its strategy, the company certifies the old meter as defective and the new electronic meter is installed in place of that, which moves faster and records more readings, crushing the budget of common man. As a result, in stead of getting the domestic electricity-bills in three digits (in 100–999 rupees), the citizens get bills in four to five digits (1000–99999 rupees).
If any consumer reaches the SNDL office with complaint, his old meter is replaced with the new meter, and then the consumer is put to more suffering. In certain cases, revised bill is handed over to the complainant-consumer with warning that if the revised bill is not paid in time, he will have to face disconnection of power supply.
Then SNDL also launches another ‘funda’ of ‘meter-testing’ and 5 to 6 dozen consumers are trapped every day and the amount of Rs 150 is recovered from each of them. The SNDL does not possess perfect equipment for meter-testing. So, its staffers apply generic method to somehow ascertain the testing. What they do is that they start counting the devices or gadgets used at home by electricity; then they compare the month-wise readings of previous year with those of the current year and calculate to arrive at ‘mean’ of readings, and ask the consumer to pay.
In the city of Nagpur, the power-consumers are more than 5 lakh. SNDL does not have any meter-testing laboratory, and whatever report of meter-reading is given to it is unreliable and fake. There have been found cases in which the meter-testing reports of the same meter varied from one another despite repeated testings.
Besides, in case the power-supply went off from certain pole or in certain area, the SNDL call-center also becomes ‘dead’, and however one may try to contact, the same taped reply is heard. In toto, be it the SNDL contractor or its PRO or even its management, it has utterly failed to satisfy the consumers, and on the other hand it has added to consumer-miseries.
It is surprising whether the State Energy Minister of NDA government is in the know of all such anomalies on the part of SNDL and consumers’ pathos.
Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha (email@example.com)